Deputy Senate President Ovie Omo-Agege has revealed that there is no need for the Executive to continue with the multibillion naira fuel subsidy regime.
He said what is needed to address the lingering issue of inadequate refined oil production to match local consumption is to fix the country’s moribund refineries.
The Deputy Senate President expressed surprise that, in spite of economic realities, some people within and outside the NNPC still continue to believe that fuel subsidy is the solution.
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Omo-Agege spoke at the Senate plenary during the confirmation hearing of ministerial nominees.
He also expressed dismay over the insistence of some multinational oil companies operating in the Niger Delta region on moving their headquarters elsewhere, with attendant job losses.
He demanded their relocation to the region.
“I have always taken the position that there is no need for us to continue with this subsidy; all we need to do is to fix the refineries,” Omo-Agege stated.
“But, today, I have seen many people in the NNPC and elsewhere moving otherwise because they believe we ought to continue with this subsidy regime.
“I am from the Niger Delta and there are a lot of us who believe that most of the oil companies doing business in that neighborhood ought to have their offices and their headquarters in that same neighborhood so as to provide employment opportunities.
“There is an issue that is raging right now in the Niger Delta and it has to do with the Nigerian Gas Company in Ekpan-Warri; they are also threatening to move their headquarters from Warri in Delta State elsewhere,” he disclosed.
“I am seeking a commitment today as the representative of the people of Delta Central that no ministerial nominee today will eventually superintend over the movement of Nigerian Gas Company elsewhere.
“I also seek a commitment that those companies that are doing business in the Niger Delta, but have their headquarters elsewhere, should come back to the Niger Delta area to provide jobs for our teeming youths.”